NBA Trade Deadline: 3 Teams Magic Must Target to Move Dwight Howard

Jesse FeldContributor IIIFebruary 21, 2012

NBA Trade Deadline: 3 Teams Magic Must Target to Move Dwight Howard

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    The Orlando Magic find themselves in a tough situation as All-Star center Dwight Howard is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract and test free agency in 2012.

    Orlando is on Howard's short list of teams he would like to sign a long-term deal with, but Orlando could lose a bidding war against a larger market team. To make sure they get something out of losing Howard, the Magic should trade him.

    While Howard has made it known where he wants to play, Orlando will look at all their options on where they send Howard and who they get in return.

Los Angeles Lakers

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    The Lakers need to make some changes as they stand at 18-13 and are the second-best team in their own city. Kobe Bryant is leading the NBA in scoring, averaging 29 points per game, but this is in part because of the lack of scoring out of the rest of the team.

    Adding Howard would help clear some space for the Lakers' players and make for open shots.

    The Lakers are one of the teams on Howard's list, and Orlando could get some good players for him. The Lakers would have to give them Andrew Bynum and most likely Pau Gasol.

    If the Magic target Los Angeles they could put themselves in a good spot to move forward without Howard.

Dallas Mavericks

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    Dallas is another team on Howard's list, and he would add a huge inside presence, which Dallas lost when Tyson Chandler signed with the New York Knicks in free agency.

    The Mavericks are 20-12 and playing good basketball. An argument against the trade would be that Dallas doesn't need Dwight Howard because they are doing just fine as they are.

    The reality is if Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban got a decent offer to get the best center in the NBA, he would definitely jump on it.

    Orlando would have to choose who is worth getting for Howard from the Dallas roster, but they are definitely a team that would work with Orlando on a trade.

Sacramento Kings

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    This is a long shot as Howard is not interested in Sacramento, but it's interesting once looked into.

    The Kings have gotten the tag many rebuilding teams attain, and that is "young and talented." The young part has outweighed the talent this year, but the talent is definitely there.

    Orlando could get a wealth of talent for Howard. Demarcus Cousins would lead the group of players the Magic would be interested in, but there are other players that would help Orlando be a competitive team.

    The Kings would most likely want to keep Tyreke Evans but everyone else would be fair game.